Archive for May, 2012


Posted on May 31, 2012

I love this time of year. Cherries are the harbinger of fruit season here in California. They herald the coming bounty of great stone fruit – nectarines, peaches, and apricots. They presage the wide range of berries, from blueberries to raspberries, blackberries, and my favorite: olallieberries. Later in the season, apples ripen, and eventually into September and October the wine grapes are ready. But for me it all starts with cherries – sweet, dark, crisp cherries.

This photo was taken by Julianne Nola, shortly after she and her daughters picked these cherries at her parents' orchard in Stockton, Calif.

2012 is looking to be ...

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This presentation explains the importance of an online marketing and social media strategy for restaurants today.

[slideshare id=13037506&doc=26-brix-socialmediapresentation-120522224514-phpapp02]

Why do online marketing and social media matter for restaurants?

Your website is your image, your brand, your reputation, and your storefront
The Internet is how people will find you
Social media is how Gen Y will evaluate you and decide to become customers
Social media and email help you maintain relationships with customers when they're not in your restaurant
Your website, social media, and email marketing have a multiplying effect in increasing repeat sales

Ultimately it's about connecting to customers, generating revenue, and growing the business. At the end ...

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Blackbird Kitchen & Bar is a new, well-regarded restaurant in Sacramento. Anyone living in the area who appreciates great food and great service should check it out.

Blackbird Kitchen & Bar is primarily a seafood restaurant, and everything we had (from clam chowder and raw Arctic char for appetizers to mussels and whole roasted trout for entrees) was stellar. Our waiter was extremely informed about all aspects of the bar, wine, and food, answering all of our questions (which were many) with poise and patience (especially considering he was also dealing with an obnoxious and loud table next to us). The ...

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Route 3 Wines 2009 Syrah

Posted on May 17, 2012

Route 3 Wines 2009 Syrah is a pleasant red wine, a good choice to serve this summer alongside grilled pork chops or chicken.

Route 3 Wines 2009 Syrah. Pork chop with collard greens sautéed in bacon fat.

According to Craig Jones, the sales and marketing director at Route 3 Wines, the 2009 syrah is a lighter wine than the previous vintage. I haven't tasted the 2008, but I would agree with his assessment of the '09 vintage. Syrah can be a masculine wine, but this is a softer version, a comfortable, very approachable wine that is eminently drinkable today.

In the ...

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Yolo County produces high-quality wines at very affordable prices. Perhaps that’s not news to you, but it was to me.

I should know better.

During my love affair with wine, I’ve always focused on the major wine regions in California (especially Napa and Sonoma, but also Amador, the Central Coast, and Mendocino). I’ve neglected the wines in my own backyard.

If I’m completely honest, I have to admit I’ve been kind of a snob.

No longer. Thanks to the Roots to Wine event that took place recently in Winters, Calif., I discovered that Yolo County, where I live, is home to high-quality and affordable wines. ...

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Social media and the Internet are powerful tools for small businesses. That's because their customers increasingly begin their shopping on the Internet, and they use social media such as online reviews when considering which products to buy and which businesses to support.

For that reason, the Internet is a double-edged sword. Used well, the Internet and social media can help small businesses. Online marketing techniques and tools, for example, can help small businesses reach prospective customers who otherwise would have no way of knowing about them. Online marketing can help small businesses sell goods and services anywhere around the world, 24x7. And ...

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Route 3 Wines 2011 Albariño

Posted on May 5, 2012

Route 3 Wines 2011 Albariño offers exotic flavors to white wine fans who want to explore beyond chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Route 3 Wines come from estate-grown vineyards in the Dunnigan Hills of Yolo County, northwest of Sacramento.

The Wine Bible, an encyclopedia of information about wine by Karen MacNeil, describes albariño as "a racy, refreshing wine considered one of the best matches in the world for seafood." The grape is grown primarily in the region of Rías Baixas in northwest Spain. (It's also grown in Portugal and lately has been making an appearance in California.)

MacNeil goes on to say this ...

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